Saturday, December 31, 2011

Not soon enough -- Ohio injection earthquake

Wow, I had just barely issued my eulogy for Ohio earthquakes, and down comes this M4.0!  Talk about timing!  I think they must be connected to the reservoir now, or another injection site.  If it becomes conjugate faulting, as with Arkansas, then right now they are activating the thrust portion.  I'm surprised they haven't started the strike-slip to the NE.  Maybe that's the next quake!

In other words, I would be surprised to see earthquakes line up to the NW forever.  Could be the influence of the reservoir, but after this M4, I 'predict' an M4.5 starting along the NE line.  That would make me happy, not because of the earthquake, but because, then, all would be right with the mechanics.  :)


Minor brick damage, depth is now 5 km.  There were several other injection wells in the vicinity and these have been shut down.  Ohio has 170+ injection wells, and they claim they never triggered an earthquake, but we know better!  :)

OK lights up for injection earthquakes

As we say good-bye to Ohio, we are lucky to have OK to light up the map with festive red lights.  At this point I would have wanted some really good instrumentation right on top of those big deep quakes to the east.  For if they were seismic couplets (identical twins) we would have had hard proof for fluid effects, since these things have always been associated with injection.

I consider OK and Virginia to be identical mechanisms, but OK is probably injecting at 10 times the rate of VA (which is fed from a dam).  Thus, OK will be ahead of VA in growth.  They are activating the deeper regions, so there is a question of when they will break the record for an injection-triggered earthquake (if you don't include China's M8).  I foresee some more action at depth (and to the sides) before that happens.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ohio finally calls it a day with injection earthquakes


To satirically paraphrase:  "We know it doesn't trigger earthquakes, but we can't take a chance on proving it actually does.  We've got thousands of these wells, and more are expected."

Oh well, I suppose the earthquakes will stop now, unless they have totally opened up the system, as with Arkansas.  Still Ohio is just one big injection zone, so we must expect future action.  I'll just have to place my faith in Texas and Oklahoma!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ottawa seismic capacity near zero


CBC is releasing this stuff in dribs and drabs.  Now it's east Ottawa.  So, the seismic capacity (to death) in Ottawa is near zero.  What are the odds?  Does anybody care?  :)

West Texas injection earthquakes move out

Every day I scan this map looking for new red spots.  This is the only one in the last few days, an M2.5.  The area is getting bigger, which would usually mean bigger earthquakes, but I wish I knew where the injection site (s) was.  The seismometer coverage is probably very poor, so we don't have accurate depths.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

CBC spouts alarmist Ottawa earthquake blurb


Wow, and they say I'm an alarmist!  They fail to mention the odds, and what people can do.  But the article is essentially true.  Still, I think the odds are the same for any earthquake city, including Toronto, Boston, New York, Montreal, etc.  These are all  the same odds as Christchurch! (before)

Nobody does anything, and after this article, they still won't do anything.  Have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

XBMC Eden on Linux

A while ago I got a little Zotac for my network video player.  That's because I was forced to give up on the PS3 which was actively nannying me.  I loaded xbmc live and it worked fairly well for standard videos, but garbled on HD (720p max).  I donated $50 to speed them along.  Now, I've been rewarded with their new Eden version, and it zooms on any 720p movie.  Thanks be to the driver gods!

So now the video is on my Mediatomb server with the big disk drives, and the little thing sails over the regular wired ethernet.  As you know, these are all my own movies that I made, I have gigabytes of them....ahem... that's right Mr. Sopa!

Lego Star Wars Cruiser

Yeah!  The men of the family got a big gift.  The two sons took over, since I'm old, and I took the timelapse video.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

OK Christmas earthquake goes deep

In order to be very polite on Christmas Day, this M3.3 earthquake was on the deep end of the megathrust.  This is exactly like Virginia, with a deep outlier earthquake.  In both cases it indicates a desire to go bigger, but this may happen at a very low rate.  OK doesn't have a natural water source like Arkansas and Virginia, so the water comes from the 160  injection wells.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ohio gets another injection earthquake for Christmas

We can safely make fun of these Christmas earthquakes.  Not like the tragedy on the other side of the world.  This probably means they are continuing to inject.  As with Arkansas, if they continue to bust the whole thing open, it can tap into the local water.  Ohio has a long history of injection earthquakes, but nobody calls them that, out of politeness.

Update:  This article confirms it goes into the Precambrian and that's where all the water is being injected.  They have not plugged the bottom yet (which in my opinion renders the well useless), until they can get a new well.  So, they are still injecting, and we can expect bigger earthquakes.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sleazy Seismic Retrofits


Interesting, the joke for me is that I'm not sure that even a 'good' retrofit is of any use when the house is 1920's brick, and on a swamp.  I don't think anybody can get killed in a brick house, unless they run outside in a panic.  So, the purpose is to up the seismic capacity for serious damage.  Obviously, when you pay a lot for a seismic retrofit, you expect the house to be essentially undamaged up to an appropriate PGV, perhaps 30 cm/s.  An old brick house is gone at 20 cm/s as shown in Churchill.  Decent buildings easily take 40 cm/s as shown in Chile.  Taiwan showed that serious damage for 'standard' modern construction starts at 50 cm/s.

Westinghouse AP1000 ready to build on top of faults


I soooo want this reactor for Ontario!  But, there will be nothing in my lifetime.  All the money has gone to building useless crumbly water tunnels.  So, the US will get them after they build huge reservoirs on top of faults.  Even with that, this reactor can take it, if it is built on rock, which is not guaranteed in the States.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christchurch Continues to Crumble - M5.8 Earthquake New Zealand

I knew this was going to go on for a long time.  That bizarre basin has to be maintained through earthquakes, and we are on a major crumble cycle.  Each earthquake knocks the basin down a bit.  When it goes through a full cycle it will be in a stress shadow for hundreds of years.

This is ever so on the Pacific Rim.  You can have a choice between a single massive earthquake, or a decade of terror.

Charleston Earthquake 1886 Revisited

Ok, you just go to the little search box on the right, type in Charleston, and you'll see I'm fascinated with this earthquake.

My main interest lies in the source zone, and the fact that it has shown a water dependence over the years.  Just now, there have been a couple of earthquakes there.

There is lots of water around, and I once had a fascinating tour of all the sand blows in the region.  I suspect we have a classic megathrust here, but this is really a case of earthquake blowout.  Did the 1886 earthquake create a stress shadow that has shut everything down for a long time?  It is possible.

Many of these small earthquake zones may have a 'maximum event' that shuts them down, but most of the smaller quakes just lead to larger ones in a classic fractal pattern.  Never fall for the gag that small earthquakes are 'relieving the stress' or some such thing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Arkansas earthquakes now tapping into high reservoir

If I were to be scientific, I would put infinite qualifications and question marks.  But, what the hey, that's boring!  Arkansas continues to bubble away, even though they stopped injecting quite a while ago.  Now it is starting to look like Virginia, so I have great hope for another large earthquake!  (Is that goulish?).

This lake is very deep (Greers Ferry Dam)  well capable of inducing earthquakes.  Why hasn't it done anything until now, since the dam was built in 1960?  Once again, it is all rock mechanics, which is what I push on the deaf ears of seismology.

In order for water to start tickling a fault, you need permeability.  In other words, you could have very tight rock, and not a drop of water gets to the fault to start the process of stress corrosion.  These faults are at a very high stress, and not inclined to let water in.  As well, you could have a tight cap rock like shale protecting the fault.

All this goes away the moment you inject tons of water to 10,000 feet or more.  Every earthquake cracks more rock, and increases the permeability.  If you are pig-headed enough to keep injecting, you can crack the rock to the 'point of no return', that is, it starts to capture other water sources.

At the time of my first observations, I was not aware of this lake and thought the conjugate set of faults would shed all earthquakes after they stopped injecting.  Big Surprise!  There is no stopping this thing now.  It is like a big landslide, slowly gathering steam off the mountain.

This fault system will now start to grow into another New Madrid.

So now we have:

West Texas -  M4 in the new year, for sure.  They will never stop pumping.

Virginia - Had their M6, a long time for the M7

Ohio - they stopped pumping, probably dead.

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Round of Windows Mail Viruses

Lately I've been hit by people sending a legit-looking email, wanting to click on something.  Since I have a fairly well hardened Linux machine, I clicked on them.  They want your MS net password.  Contacting these people, I find they clicked on something, and all those emails were sent out.

I know these people are using plain vanilla MS outlook and ie.  I'm assuming these worms are using a new trick, so maybe any ms system can't resist.

I've told these people to consider using something else, but I know it is hopeless.  Just be on the alert for these things.  :)

US Nuclear Waste Hunt Turns to Granite


But the Sandia study lists factors like geological stability and low permeability pointing to granite deposits in the East and Midwest as possible sites for long-term nuclear waste disposal.

They have high expectations of granite.  I was looking at this 'forever' and it has a lot of problems.  Nevertheless, the only acceptable site is one in the granitic gneiss, between the megathrusts, and under unbroken shale.  This is what we have a Port Hope!

The joke is that any state chosen may pull all the Harry Reid tricks and stop the effort in its tracks.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Another injection earthquake for W Texas

Looks like my predictions are holding -- they'll keep injecting until the cows come in!  Another M3.2!  This is an unusual pattern, and we can play "Guess the injection site"  from this.  I am guessing it is starting another conjugate set like Arkansas, and that the site is on the little NW trending zone at the top.  As they continue, the earthquakes should go down to Snyder.  In Arkansas, the NE extended both top and bottom, but this may be only a bottom.  They should break M4 in another few weeks!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Radioactive Waste - If Wishes Were Fishes


Reasonable article.  So much unrealistic garbage is attached to nuclear waste disposal, I find it hard to believe we will get there.  Similar to new nuclear power in Ontario, we will only go to a forced conclusion when we are desperate, since it is all tied up in politics.

There are always 2 ways to go with this -- one is to pick reasonable geology and name a place.  This is always followed by a massive uproar, and heart-rendering stories about losers who moved there to get away from anything modern.  The 2nd is to allow everybody and their dog to request a dump, even though the geology is horrible.  This is what we are facing now.

Those towns around Bruce were quickly shut up by money and force.   Any screaming on their part will expose the existing Bruce waste disposal efforts.  I suspect we won't hear from them again.  :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy 200th New Madrid Earthquake!


That's a wonderful birthday for thinking.  Actually, I don't even want to think about it!

US approves AP1000 nuclear plant despite bullying


Toshiba Corp. (6502)’s Westinghouse Electric won majority support for the design of its AP1000 reactor from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, even as the members were feuding publicly over the panel’s leadership.

The situation at the US NRC is hilarious, but they did manage to approve this plant.  I consider this plant the most seismically rugged nuclear plant out there, although I am sure they can botch things up in the installation, like "Let's dam a huge lake right on top of a fault."

When Ontario starts freezing in the dark, these are great plants to put on the Wesleyville site.  But we won't expect any rationality for a while now, or until Pickering folds up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No Alberta Nuclear Plant -- Bruce gives up on another phony plan


Ontario's Bruce Power announced it will no longer advance the option for a new nuclear plant in Alberta that has been under consideration by the company since 2007.

This is actually a great Christmas story.

Once upon a time, Santa Bruce decided to give a gift to a poor shivering orphan - AECL.  Said sb:  "You are dying and nobody wants you.  We may have need of you in the future, and don't want you to go to a miserable death.  We will make up all sorts of plans for new nuclear plants on the worst sites so that Sugar Daddy Harper continues to pump you full of money.

First we will propose a plant up in Bruce on land we don't own.  What a hoot!   Then we'll go down to Lake Erie and propose a plant on a lake that totally freezes up for the half the year.  Everybody will be stunned!  Finally, off to Alberta and propose a plant with no water, on a mountain fault zone.  Those Albertans will be knocked off their cows!"

Little AECL looked up with her seal-baby eyes:  "But Geofish will figure out everything instantly."  sb:  "Nobody listens to him!"

Needless to say AECL passed on and lost the ACR baby.  All of the nuclear plans were returned.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Standard observations cause Kashmir earthquake panic


This has been quite interesting -- a large number of sensational articles (from India) scaring everybody to death.  Much worse than me about Toronto!

And the whole thing was just an arcane discussion on the maximum magnitude for the region.  Is it an 8 or a 9?  Probably makes no diff whatsoever for anybody living there.  These things do make a difference for tsunami height, but not much on local effects.  It's just that the damage zone is so much bigger.  Doesn't even change the odds that it will happen tomorrow.

Bruce area wants permanent nuclear waste


Most interesting.  I have railed so much against the 'low level' deep repository that it appears they have completely stopped.  Now, the local communities are so enthusiastic that they want the permanent site!

I've got a great idea!  Put in a deep fracking injection borehole.  Inject tons of water, which is the equivalent groundwater disturbance of a deep facility.  Let cook.  Feel the big earthquake, and you know the Grenville Front is not happy.

We need to put this at Port Hope!  Now, that's rock!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

M6.7 Mexico Earthquake

I just post this for the nice picture.  Such a lovely subduction zone!  This one is fairly deep, so unless it gets the Mexico City basin ringing, I don't expect much.

Update:  Reports confirm slight damage.

Virginia earthquakes slide down the megathrust

I'm having more confidence in their depth calculations, since they must have some decent seismometers by now.  They have just had an earthquake that is 16 km deep, which is very unusual for a small earthquake, since this won't be felt, and is difficult to detect.

This has happened way down on the gently dipping megathrust.  If there were to be more of these, I would say it is setting up for an M7.  The lake water cannot be turned off, and continues the stress corrosion of the silicates.

As for timing, who knows?  Probably not for Christmas.....

Friday, December 9, 2011

Favourite injection site in Texas gets M3.4 earthquake

I have 'predicted' that the site near Lubbock Texas will be the centre of our next 'interesting' injection earthquake.  Of course, to be interesting, it has to be over M5.5 or there about.

Now this site just had an M3.4.  The locals will just grit their teeth and bear it, not like Ohio whiners!  This gives a great chance that they will just carry on with massive deep injection, and not just curl up and shut it down.  :)

So, let's all guess how big we can get for New Years!

Injection earthquake relationship


“If you inject about 10,000 cubic metres, then the maximum sized earthquake would be about a magnitude 3.3,” says McGarr. Every time the volume of water doubles, the maximum magnitude of any quake rises by roughly 0.4. “The earthquakes may end up being much smaller, but you want to be prepared for the worst-case scenario,” says McGarr. The relationship is straightforward, but it is the first time that anyone has quantified it, he adds.

Ah, if you dig at the toe of a mountain slope, the maximum landslide is the same size as the road cut.  This would be a good rule most of the time.  Lots of people have died because you can trigger an absolutely monstrous landslide.  I have no more comments on this.

Heavy rain may trigger earthquakes


I like the observation, but their physics is off.  In any case, these are very active zones, and the rains probably only bring the earthquakes forward by less than half a year.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Canada's red hot housing bubble


I've only put this in because one of my first few posts in 2007 stated that the condo bubble was about to burst!  Ha, that's about the same quality as earthquake prediction!   foolish me.

Nuclear plants: Backups to Backups Never Work


Magee pointed out that the system is a backup that is needed only if the plant's other shutdown modes can't be used.
"We take their assessment of plant performance very seriously," Magee said. "This facility has never been needed in the 38 years of Oconee's operation."

I had this problem when installing seismic instrumentation -- if the system is regarded as useless by the operators, it will never work.  Operators have very short vision, usually just to the end of their nose.  The management consists of former operators.  A long time ago some designer thought to make things safer by putting in a backup to the backup system.  Bad mistake!

That's why nuclear plants do very badly in an earthquake.  The plant is full of these people who say "We haven't had an earthquake in 38 years, why bother?"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New nuclear plant is not happy


The Southern Co. continues to face "significant challenges" building the country's first brand-new nuclear plant on time and without exceeding its share of the roughly $6 billion budget, a state watchdog said in a report released Monday.

Interesting for Ontario.  The AP1000 is my choice for Ontario, although we may be stuck with a Canadian hamster wheel.  6 billion is extremely low, hope they can keep it to 12 billion.  Still, the earnings vs price will be infinitely greater than the collapsing Niagara Tunnel!

I hope this thing in Georgia is on hard rock.  Even the AP1000 wouldn't have a good seismic capacity on soft gunk.

Ohio on top of earthquake injection zone


This zone has completely turned off.  I always wonder about the relationship with injection rate, and/or total injection volume.  Still, I don't think they should have these things right downtown.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Niagara Tunnel still clearing collapse zone

On July 2nd, a "fall of ground" took place at 6,050 meters, effectively cutting the tunnel into two sections: the outlet and the inlet.

Work has continued unabated to repair the area of the fall of ground. It has been taking place within each section of the tunnel simultaneously. By luck, a crew bus was stranded in the intake section of the tunnel behind the TBM, allowing crews to be shuttled the nearly 4 kilometers to the rock fall zone. Unfortunately, the crew bus on the intake side became totally disabled. This caused Strabag a major logistical problem. It needed a replacement bus however the remainder of the main-beam and cutterhead of the TBM at the mouth of the intake side of the tunnel precluded the ability to just lower another mini sized crew bus into the intake channel floor and be driving directly into the tunnel unobstructed.

Using perhaps modern engineering adaptation at its best, Strabag did what one could consider most unorthodox but quite unique and innovative. During the week of November 14th, they took a replacement crew bus and cut the roof off the bus. The bus was now in two pieces. The chassis portion of the bus was lowered to the bottom of the intake channel. Now with sufficient clearance the bus chassis was driven underneath the existing cutterhead and main-beam. Once inside the tunnel, the bus chassis and roof were again welded together. A crew bus is again in service on the intake side of the Niagara Tunnel.   

This is interesting.  I always wish we knew more about this collapse, but that would be 'airing your dirty laundry in public', and that sort of thing isn't done in Canada.  Last time they had a collapse, they used the phony excuse of a single ungrouted borehole.  They didn't bother 'excusing' this time, must have a lot of confidence.

Obviously, the rock continues it's massive squeezing pressure.  The longer they are delayed in placing the final massive lining, the more chance of added collapses.  Still, more convergence puts less pressure on the final lining.  How long will that liner last?  One only has to look at the old Toronto Power wheel-pit to see.

Despite this collapse, the budget remains rock-solid :)   Really????

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Rogers vs Mastercard

This is a work of fiction, so those two ugly monopolies don't hammer me.  (Remember people, hammering backfires, ask CarrierIQ)

So, suddenly the son can't top up the minutes on his Rogers phone.  Turns out they are having an epic battle with Mastercard, and won't allow secondaries to charge their minutes.  The son, like every other student, and generally fun-employed house-warmer out there, just has a named card under their mother's name.

So naturally, it is time for us to call Rogers.  What a load of horse hockey we got from them!  Do not use them!  HA HA you have to use them!  They have a monopoly!!!  Stinky cows.  Off to another monopoly.

This week has 22 earthquakes

Canadians will get the joke.

Activity continues in Oklahoma and Virginia.  OK is probably still pumping and VA has that giant dam.  The VA nuclear plant is at full steam, with nothing changed.  Such happiness!

A big red dot extends the N Carolina trend which follows one of the megathrusts.  These are unusual events, up in the highlands, so the water source seems uncertain.  Must have extra permeability.

Two events on Lake Ontario that caused a bit of a stir.  Arkansas continues to have activity, the injection must have opened up the system to groundwater.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Just having generators in the basement caused Japan disaster


This report seems to contradict other reports which showed significant events after the shaking and before the tsunami.  But the level of shaking was very low, about 20 cm/s and should not have caused damage to the heavy safety systems.  Doesn't mean other systems didn't get bunged up.  I would love to see the ground motion records, but being Japan -- not in my lifetime.

Somehow this is important for the nuclear industry, and this is being touted all over the place.  Having the backup generators in the basement is great for seismic shaking, but unfortunately not all places conform to this wonderful layout.  :)

When I was with some mythical power company, seems like a dream, nobody cared about the seismic capacity of the electrical systems - weren't safety systems.  Now I wonder....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nuclear plant earthquake concern - Pt. Lepreau


This was interesting.  The 'powers' dragged in poor John Adams from the Feds, who just said it wasn't a plate margin and couldn't generate an M9.  The other guys actually brought in Ken Burke, who is not worse than me.  (said to avoid lawsuits).  He said an M6 could happen there any minute, and I agree.

Nowhere do they mention the seismic capacity of this decrepit old plant.  Is it as bad as Pickering?  Who knows?  An M6 will knock out power, and bring it to a 1 in 100 chance of core melt, due to possible backup problems.  These odds have been stated in risk studies, that power outage is the greatest risk.

Low seismic capacity starts to close buildings


The past few large earthquakes have taught the intelligent people of the world (not here!), that earthquakes happen everywhere at the 1 in 1000 level, and that there should be a minimum seismic capacity for all structures, no matter what the Jaws-like denying officials think.

I divide the world into 3 seismic capacity levels

Level 1 - Smooth Runnings - seismic capacity, expressed by PGV, where there should be no damage, and the place 'rides out' the storm.  Nuclear power plants, hospitals, etc should have a high value.

Level 2 - Incapacity - the building is 'taken out', non operational.  Very bad for Canada in the winter.  Power systems are very low for this.

Level 3 - Pancaking - This won't really happen for Canada, although I do see those cheap condos tipping over.

Earthquake engineers on the hotseat


Two engineers testified this week about their inspections of the Pyne Gould building at an ongoing probe into building failures during the Feb. 22 Christchurch earthquake, which killed 182 people. The engineers acknowledged that during their inspections, they never looked at building plans or a report that detailed the structure’s vulnerability.

It turns out this building had the seismic capacity of Christmas tinsel, but that wasn't their job.  They were just looking for structural weakening.  If you know that a building is going to pancake at 30 cm/s, what do you do?  Nobody has ever red-tagged a building, based on seismic capacity alone.  It is always mucked up with 'living history' observations, such as we get for Toronto -  "We don't get no stinkin' earthquakes!".